About Brechtel

Vision Mission Why Clients Choose Us

Brechtel is a team of experts dedicated to furthering scientific discovery by increasing access to technology. Our team has accumulated decades of field sampling experience on aircraft, ships, mountain tops, skyscrapers, coastal sites, unmanned drones – even the rainforest canopy. We understand how difficult scientific measurements are to make and remain committed to supporting you throughout the life of your product. We believe technology should be more openly available and easy to use. High quality measurements should be the norm, not the exception – and you should not have to stand in front of your device adjusting settings to ensure it’s working correctly. We are committed to providing a solution that you do not need to worry about so you can focus on your science.

Our Vision

To increase access to cost-effective, simple-to-use aerosol measurement technology

Our Mission

To accelerate scientific understanding of the role of aerosols in climate change across the Earth sciences


  • 1983


    Fred Sr. starts with one vacuum brazing furnace in a garage in Fremont, CA.

  • 1984


    Became too big for the garage and moved to a small warehouse.

  • 1986


    Officially incorporated and moved into one of our current 8,000 sq ft buildings to fabricate vacuum ion pumps for global distribution.

  • 2001


    Fred Jr. performs sizing and hygroscopicity measurements and manages Kosan ground sampling site in South Korea for 2-month NSF-sponsored multinational field study.

  • 2002

    Father & Son Team

    Fred Jr. joins the firm to develop new aerosol measurement technologies.

  • 2002

    First Product

    Very first isokinetic inlet system ships to DOE for the G-1 research aircraft.

  • 2002


    Participated in the New England Air Quality study on-board the G-1 research aircraft.

  • 2003

    Make it Blow

    Completion of 220 mph (100 m/s or 350 km/hr) wind tunnel at Brechtel for aircraft inlet testing.

  • 2003

    First SBIR

    Office of Naval Research awards us our first SBIR to develop the DASH-SP.

  • 2004

    PILS & SEMS Begins…

    First customized PILS & SEMS systems for routine aircraft measurements.

  • 2004


    Brechtel participates in Twin Otter flights during field study of aerosol/cloud properties.

  • 2005


    Ion pump business is sold and Brechtel turns all of its attention to development, manufacturing, and sales of aerosol measurement instrumentation.

  • 2006


    Awarded to develop ACCESS line of UAV-deployable products.

  • 2006

    First DASH

    Release of first aircraft-deployable DASH to Caltech for the CIRPAS Twin Otter.

  • 2006

    GoMACS in Texas

    Participated in Texas field study to study aerosol/cloud interactions.

  • 2007


    Provided technical support to customers operating the DASH, PILS and other instruments on-board the CIRPAS Twin Otter.

  • 2009

    Particle Counter

    First shipment of our 1700-series mixing-based counters.

  • 2009

    Arctic UAV Sampling

    Delivery of first ACCESS line products for UAV-deployment by NOAA over Svalbard.

  • 2009


    Awarded to develop fast mobility sizing and counting technologies.

  • 2010

    HTDMA Release

    First shipment of our Humidified Tandem Differential Mobility Analyzer.

  • 2010

    Sampling Clouds

    Release of the Model 1204 CVI inlet and first installation on the DOE G-1 research aircraft.

  • 2010


    Provided support for PILS aircraft and ground deployments as well as for ISO and CVI inlets on G-1 aircraft during the CARES study.

  • 2011

    New PILS

    Release of new version of the PILS 80% smaller and 70% less expensive than the original version.

  • 2012

    Passing of the Baton

    Fred Jr. becomes CEO and owner of Brechtel.

  • 2013

    Sampling Clouds Part II

    Release of our 1205 Ground CVI to extend aircraft cloud sampling to the ground.

  • 2013


    Awarded to further development of ACCESS line of UAV-deployable technologies.

  • 2014

    Brown & Black Carbon

    First shipment of the TAP to NASA and UK Met Office.

  • 2015

    Make it Better

    Major redesign of 2100 SEMS.

  • 2016


    Miniaturize the SEMS for UAV and other portable applications.

  • 2016

    UAV Instruments

    First shipment of redesigned portable ACCESS line of products.

  • 2016


    Awarded to further commercialization efforts for ACCESS line.

  • 2017

    Let’s make it HOT

    Release of our model 3105 Thermodenuder to cook sampled particles to 300 deg C; and it fully integrates with the HTDMA.

  • 2017


    Awarded to miniaturize CCN technology.

  • 2018

    Carry-on SEMS

    Release of a compact SEMS in a carry-on-sized weather proof case for applications requiring mobility.

  • 2018


    Brechtel scientists participate in the CAIPEEX study with full ACCESS instruments and CVI inlet on King Air research aircraft.

  • 2019


    Awarded fifth patent on particle ionization and detection.

  • 2019


    Release of our 9405 miniaturized optical particle counter for portable/UAV applications.

  • 2019


    Awarded to explore a new method to measure aerosol light absorption.

  • 2020

    Small SEMS

    Release of the miniaturized SEMS for UAV and other portable applications.

  • 2021

    Pandemic Comeback

    After lengthy shutdown, sales surge and team grows to 18 terrific people! It’s great to be back.

  • 2021


    To create a miniaturized version of the HTDMA for portable aerosol hygroscopic growth measurements.


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